Minerals and Applications of Tungsten
Known as Wolfram, is the element with the highest melting point in the world with 3140 °C. It is resistant to abrasion, has high heat and electrical conductivity, and low coefficient of expansion. The hardness of pure tungsten is higher than many steels; Its ductility provides workability.
Tungsten makes up about one thousandth of the earth’s crust. There are more than twenty minerals containing tungsten in the present.
The main tungsten minerals are wolframite, hubnerite, ferberite and scheelite.
Scheelite and wolframite are tungsten minerals that are more economically operated and are widely found in nature.
Its composition is calcium wolframite. It contains 80.6% tungsten anhydride (WO3), 64% tungsten (W) in its pure form. It can be in white, yellow, and pink colors. Approximately 50% of the world’s tungsten reserves are located scheelite.
Wolframite (Fe,Mn)WO4 :
It contains a mixture of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) in different proportions. Mineral Ferberite (FeWO4) containing more than 20% iron oxide (FeO), Mineral Huberite (MnWO4) containing more than 20% manganese oxide (MnO), The other remaining part is wolframite. Wolframite contains 60% tungsten(W). It’s color is usually black.
Application of Tungsten in Modern Industry
It is used in hard metal production as tungsten carbide, alloy, and metallic tungsten.
Tungsten carbide is used in mining and drilling equipment, wear-resistant surfaces, and molds. In Ni-Co structured super alloy steels, the filaments which are the lamp wires of the bulbs are also tungsten products.
It is also used in high alloy products in space technology. Iron alloy ferro tungsten is used in the production of tool steels.
Tungsten disulfide compound used as catalyst is used as dry lubricant at high temperatures.
It is used in the weapons and defense industries with its metallic structures.
Due to its close to gold density, it can be used as an alternative to platinum and gold in jewelry.
Tungsten compound with vanadium dioxide is the raw material of solar films used in glasses.